Bissa people

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Total population
~0.7 million[1][2][3][4]
Regions with significant populations
Burkina Faso0.5 million[3]
Ghana1.1 million[2]
Related ethnic groups
other Mandé peoples

Bissa (or Busanga (singular), Bisa, Busansi (plural)), is a Mande ethnic group of south-central Burkina Faso, northeastern Ghana, the northernmost tip of Togo and northern Benin. Their language, Bissa,[5] is a Mande language that is related to, but not the same as, a cluster of languages in the old Borgu Kingdom area of Northeast Benin and Northwest Nigeria, including Busa, Boko, and Kyenga. An alternate name for the Bissa is Busansi which is used by the Mossi people.

Daniel McFarland's Historical Dictionary of Upper Volta refers to them as "intrusive Mande who settled the area along the White Volta below Tenkodogo by 1300. Some live across the border in modern northern Ghana and Togo. According to some traditions, Rialle, progenitor of the Nakomse line of Mossi rulers was Busansi."[6]

The Bissa are known for their cultivation of peanuts. Traditionally, a Bissa man who wants to court a Bissa girl must work in her mother's peanut field, and be able to provide the girl with her own peanut field if they get married.[7][citation needed]

The Bissa are divide into two major language groups, that is the Barka and Lerre. They are further divided into several clans. Each clan has a name and an appellation normally called dedaa by the Bissa. The appellation is now used as a surname in Burkina Faso

Some notable clans of the Bissa Tribe[edit]

  • Monnie
  • Gassuh (Yaalah)
  • Lingani
  • Bara
  • Bambara
  • Burma (Wannor)
  • Burma (Chennor)
  • Zeba
  • Zigila
  • Bitugunno
  • Ledda
  • Wareh
  • Zuuro
  • Tunugu
  • Sambanno
  • Geero
  • Sebre
  • Songne
  • Bance
  • Bandaogo
  • Gulagun(Nombone)
  • Saaror
  • Barka
  • Gamine
  • Sarreguno
  • Jangani (Guengane)
  • Dabre

The Bissa people are divided into numerous clans. Their language differs slightly; primary dialects are Barka, Lere, Ladda, Zeba, Zigila.

Most Bissa are Muslim. The bisa of the Garango Circle are among the most representative of the north. The Garango township, which forms the center of the northern Bisa, remained independent, while the northwestern districts were under the tutelage of the Mossi kingdom of Ouagadougou and the northeastern townships under the supervision of the Mossi kingdom of Tenkodogo. In Accra, Ghana, some of the established and notable towns are Busanga line in the North Kaneshie area of the Okai Koi constituency. Other towns noted for their Bissa people are Town Council line or Lartebiokorshie and shukura in the Ablekuma central constituency, and Nima in Ayawaso central constituency. In Bissa's tribes, Lingani's are the holder of both the political power and the mystical power. The person that hold the power is not the one with the crown but the one that gives the crown. No one can access to the power and wear the crown prior being mystically prepared by the Lingani's in Tangaré village of Garango in the province of Boulgou (Burkina Faso). The Lingani's are hunters and the ceremonial fig tree with their ancestors centenary hunting spear is still visible today near Tangaré mountain facing Lingani's familial house. Bissas live with their dead ancestors buried in front of their houses in order to honor them. Bissa burial sites are dug in shape of traditional building but underground with a small hole for the body entrance and the person that receive the body to lay him for rest. Several people can be buried in the same familial grave. The grave entrance is covered with a clay vase that can be removed for future burial. Barso the ancestor of the bissas were hunter.

Notable Bissa[edit]


  1. ^ a b "World Map - People Group Name: Bissa". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
  2. ^ a b "World Map - People Group Name: Bissa". Archived from the original on 2014-07-28.
  3. ^ a b "World Map - People Group Name: Bissa". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
  4. ^ a b "World Map - People Group Name: Bissa". Archived from the original on 2014-07-28.
  5. ^ Lewis, 2009
  6. ^ McFarland, 1978
  7. ^ An actual member of the Bissa tribe - which is probably a better source than any book written by Western scholars. There is not much information on the Bissa tribe at all in the literature.